McKee, Mackay, Mackie from Caithness, Scotland, to Georgia and Alabama

Caithness is on the northern coast of Scotland, the wildest and most forboding part of Scotland, and the very last area to be inhabited.  The Danes were the first occupants of these lands, especially some whose home had originally been on the Orkney Island.  The Vikings were constant visitors to these lands, though they did not seem to make Caithness a target for their raids.  Caithness is also the ancestral home of the Mackay Clan......for several hundred years, at least.  Many of the members of this clan arrived there about the year 1100 AD, as part of an immigration wave from northern Ireland. The roughness of the land and the colder temperatures seemed to suit them, for the clan began to flourish, and they were always ready to defend their land from any trespassers.  After several hundred years of a relatively comfortable life in the highlands, in the aftermath of the first Jacobite Rising, Highlanders had begun emigrating in increasing numbers.   The Culloden Massacre was followed by the Dress Act, which required all clansmen to turn in their sworn, and forbid the wearing of any tartan or kilt.  This was followed by the Clearances, which was the eviction of the clans from the lands of former chiefs and other lands that the owners had discovered could be made more profitable by raising sheep.  
Like many of their acquaintances, the McKee/Mackie family also left the highlands, for the lowlands of Scotland at some time.  We do know that in the early 1600’s they crossed 13 miles of sea to get to the Ulster Plantation.  Our family, and their friends, were Presbyterians, having been saved by the teachings of John Knox in Scotland. The English King James VI, gave them a one hundred year lease on the land he had confiscated from the Irish landlords, and they moved in comfortably with their English Catholic neighbors, at least at first.  Then came the Catholic massacres, the end of their land lease, and the ships sailing for America, and the promise of free land there sounded wonderful, so they left Ireland behind, and sailed to Philadelphia, slowly making their way down the Great Wagon Trail to first to Union, and then to Abbeville, South Carolina. I have not discovered exactly when our McKee family left Scotland, but I have located a Mackie family near Edinburgh, who have been in the linen business there for over a hundred years, and I am eager to find out more about their family history.  If you believe that you have connections with the McKee/Mackie family, please contact me at info@lovettdna.comor call me at 864-232-8880 or 864-288-2440.  please contact me at

or call me at 864-232-8880 or 864-288-2440 

View Descendants of John McKee.